Here are two different stories of human trafficking cases in where the victims were recruited from the Philippines to work here in the U.S. Time and time again, FCAHT and other anti trafficking organizations find these types of cases. However, there is not enough attention paid on these types of cases. It is important that everyone understand that there is more than just sex trafficking occurring in the U.S. Labor trafficking is running rampant in this country and the community is so busy talking about sex trafficking that they are allowing this to become an even bigger issue. At the rate things are going, you are more than likely going to come face to face with a victim of labor trafficking than you will of sex trafficking.
Please take the time to learn more about this issue and help FCAHT and other anti trafficking organizations in advocating for an end to labor trafficking!
11 Pinoy victims of human trafficking rescued
By Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) Updated November 14, 2010 12:00 AM Comments (0)
MANILA, Philippines – Eleven Filipino victims of human trafficking in the United States who were made to endure sub-human and sub-standard working conditions have been rescued.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has offered its assistance in repatriating the 11 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
The 11 OFWs were recruited in the Philippines by Adman Human Resources Placement Inc. and were originally brought to Biloxi, Mississippi, where they were made to endure sub-human and sub-standard working conditions.
The OFWs are now in Los Angeles where they are currently under the care of a Filipino-American pastor.
The recruitment license of Adman Human Resources Placement Inc. has since been cancelled by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
The DFA-Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs has authorized the release of funds to cover the repatriation costs of the 11 OFWs.
The Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles continues to extend assistance to the 11 displaced OFWs and is ready to facilitate their repatriation back to the Philippines should they wish to go home.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), together with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Washington D.C., have also provided assistance to the OFWs pending the filing of formal charges against the alleged illegal traffickers.
However, the 11 OFWS, the DFA said, had earlier refused assistance from the POLO, the Catholic Charities in Mississippi, and other entities.
Human trafficking of Filipinos in Haiti
By Jun Medina
WASHINGTON DC, United States—At least 11 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) remained stranded in Haiti after they were duped by alleged human traffickers into paying as much as P500,000 each for bogus high-paying jobs in the earthquake-ravaged Caribbean nation.
MacArthur Corsino, the Philippine ambassador to Cuba, said that the 11 jobless OFWs, who were part of a group of at least 21 victims of human trafficking, have been left to fend for themselves in Haiti since March 2010 by their recruiters.
The Philippine embassy in Havana has jurisdiction over Haiti.
“The question is why the illegal recruiters—despite our reports and despite their being exposed in the news—are still able to continue their evil recruitment after so many months, and so are able to continue victimizing hapless Filipinos,” Corsino said.
Corsino decried the continued illegal trafficking of Filipino workers who end up being a burden to the embassy and the small Filipino community that takes them under its care.
“Imagine, it’s essentially the same story [we get] from the victims since March 2010 up to now. That is, the victims each shell out around P500,000 to the recruiters who promise them jobs of $3,000 a month in Haiti, then end up stranded and penniless in Port-au-Prince without the said jobs at all,” he said in an email.
This supposed placement fee is even higher than the P300,000 (equivalent to almost $6,500) collected from each of the alleged victims of human trafficking now stranded in Los Angeles.
The alleged traffickers were identified as Marla Consolacion, who also uses the aliases Marla Wong and Marla Habas, and her assistant named Roma Maning, whose father Leo works in Haiti.
These alleged recruiters claim to have international connections through a certain Luzviminda Maning of New York who allegedly operates with an American partner.
The stranded workers said that they were made to believe that the recruiters have connections at the Haitian embassy in Manila who help facilitate travel documentation, including visas.
Haiti has a consulate in the Philippines.
Members of the small, closely-knit Filipino community have opened their homes to the stranded workers and helped them find jobs, which are not easy in a country still reeling from a devastating earthquake that flattened most of Port-au-Prince about a year ago.
“Yes, members of the [community] are trying to help them, but we can only do so much,” said Dolor Bagadiong, wife of Filipino community president Frankie Bagadiong, on Wednesday from the Haitian capital during a live chat via Yahoo! Messenger.
“But jobs are scarce and hard to find here, so I find it very strange why the Department of Labor and Employment is still allowing the deployment of workers to Haiti,” she added.
Bagadiong cited the case of Jess Laurenaria, who told the Filipino community and Philippine embassy officials how he was duped into paying P550,000 to the recruiters because they assured him that he would get a managerial job that pays $3,000 a month.
It was too late for Laurenaria to discover upon reaching Port-au-Prince that the company that was supposed to hire him did not exist, forcing him to seek shelter with fellow Filipinos in Port-au-Prince.
“Talamak talaga yang illegal recruitment dito (Illegal recruitment is widespread here),” Bagadiong said in Filipino.
Laurenaria, one of those who opted to stay and look for a job, was helped by a member of the Filipino community and eventually got hired by a local plastics company but the salary was only a portion of the $3,000 he was aspiring for.
Corsino said that the Philippine embassy, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, has referred reports and complaints of illegal recruitment in Haiti to the Philippine labor department and law-enforcement authorities.